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F or Majhon Phillips, destiny emerged at the tender age of three when she began taking music lessons. Over the course of three decades, Majhon has pursued her passion for music as a performer, teacher, collaborator, entrepreneur. . . and muse. creative new ideas into action. Over the years I’ve helped set up several music businesses. In 2013, I launched Music As Language in downtown Morgan Hill. Having my own company allows me to blend my creative/musical side with my business side and really tap into all of my favorite things. upcoming stars, including Esha K, on songwriting and album production.  And some—including Emily Hansen, Brianna and Emily Pember, Lindsay Petroff, Isabella Castaneda, and Kyle Strenfel—have had starring roles in live performances around the Bay Area. How would you describe your early years in music?  Is it a diverse group who come to you for music instruction? What is the unique value that Music as Language brings to South County? I joined my first band as an 11-year- old. We called ourselves the Y2K Bugs. It’s funny looking back, but we were relevant to the times (when people worried that computer systems would fail in the year 2000). I played the keyboards and sang and we performed pop and alternative music. My music studies and performances took me all over the U.S. and overseas to the UK and Europe. We have worked with over 400 students in the past five years. It’s been amazing to see how their lives have been en- riched through musical exploration. No one is too young or too old to explore the world of music. We have literally served students from two to 85 years of age from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Like our name says, music is language—a universal language all its own and a bridge that connects people, regardless of their backgrounds or where they’re from. First, we provide top-tier musical instruction and opportunities. Many schools have been forced to drop music programs due to lack of funding. And even when they do offer programs, schools aren’t set up to tailor music education to individual students. That’s where we shine—the customization and personalized attention to each student’s goals, abilities and passion.  Second, we help students set and pursue goals while developing confidence, communication skills, and stage readiness—skills necessary for career growth. One of my favorite stories involves a former student, Rachel Chambers. A few years ago, she was speaking at a political summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in the audience. Rachel was asked, impromptu, to sing for the chancellor and her colleagues! Her early musical training came in handy in what may be one of the most memorable experiences of her career. You have a versatile background, what path did you pursue in your studies to arrive where you are now? I have had the opportunity to pursue Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level studies, degrees, and certifications in many places, including Southeast Missouri State, the Friedrich Schiller University and the Weimar Conservatory in Germany, Portland State University, the University of Illinois, Juilliard, and the Lucy Moses School. I have accompanied and performed piano at the professional level, sung in professional choirs for as a long as I can remember, and performed operatic solos! This includes soprano solos from Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and Barber's “Agnus Dei,” and a solo recital with the famed Judith Farris in “The Tender Land” by Copland. Other per- formances include roles as Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” and as Satine in “Moulin Rouge.” In solo recitals and performances, I specialized in German Lieder such as soprano solos by Mozart, Schubert and Wolf, and soprano opera arias. It’s been an amazing journey. Who or what inspired you to start your company?  When I was eighteen, my entrepre- neurial instinct kicked in. I like to put How do you accommodate varied interests in terms of what students want to learn and their goals in music? From our very first meeting with a new student, it’s all about setting what we call “guiding goals.” If a student has a dream of recording an album, or competing, or performing abroad, or passing the highest musical exam, we take all of that into account in building a program to help them make their dreams a reality.  Can you give a few examples of student achievements you’re most proud of? Some of our students have won inter- national music competitions and have performed at Carnegie Hall. They in- clude Arjun Bharadhwaj, Claire Huang, Lavender Hwang, Esha K, Anika Prasad, Ishani Sikdar, Kavita Sundaram, and Sandhya Sundaram. Many have passed the advanced level of Certificate of Merit exams—in some cases with honors—including Anika Prasad and Erik Mintz. Some are focused on songwriting and have recorded their own EPs and albums, which have been released internationally. They include Esha K and Sarina Sharma. Most recently, I’ve been collaborating for some of our GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN february/march 2019 Who’s on your team and what distin- guishes them as teachers and mentors? One of our intern/apprentice teachers, Brianna Pember, has been involved in the Bay Area musical theatre scene for nearly a decade. She has appeared with the South Valley Civic Theater, including the starring role in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” and with other theater groups. Heather Faulhaber holds a Master’s degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She performed as the Diva in the San Francisco and Seattle productions of Teatro Zinzanni (2003-2006). Since then, she has performed with Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, and in the Yosemite Bracebridge Dinners. We also work with Grammy-winning gmhtoday.com 83